Directly inspired by classical athletic figures, Manship’s Spearthrower shows the same attention to detail and awareness of how the body moves and balances as the Greek masters. With his weight on his back foot , the muscular figure prepares to throw his spear. Although the sculpture was cast in the round, its primary vantage point is profile, as if the figure were painted on an ancient vase.

Manship traveled throughout Italy and Greece to study original works of art firsthand, during which time he became interested in the stylistic features and subjects found in Egyptian, Assyrian, and archaic Greek sculpture. One of his best known works is the 1934 gilt-bronze statue of Prometheus (the Greek god who brought fire to mankind), located at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.